Hi there. If you’re reading this, you probably want to know something about me. My name is Tony , and I like long walks on the beach, dinner by candlelight, and…ha ha. Just kidding. This isn’t the start of a bog-standard profile for a dating site.

I live in the US, Florida to be exact. I’ve been a lifelong comic book reader. I think the first comic book I had was an old copy of Marvel Tales, a series that reprinted the 1960’s adventures of Spider-Man. I seriously began collecting comics in my teens, and over time managed to acquire a substantial collection. Though I’m largely a Marvel and DC guy, I do venture outside the Big Two at times. As I look across the television and movie landscape, this is a pretty great time to be a superhero fan. I remember growing up (child of the 80’s here) and loving the Avengers and the Justice League. I imagined how cool it would be to see them in the movies or on television, but aside from the Superman movies and few other lackluster films, there wasn’t much for superhero fans to sink their teeth into on the big screen or the small. But today? Hoo-boy. It’s like the cinematic golden age for superheroes, with multiple films in the last decades from characters like Spider-Man, Captain America, Batman, the Avengers, Thor, and more. On television, we’ve got the likes of iZombie, Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Walking Dead (and the likes of Preacher are on the way). To top that off, we Netflix, which has changed the game and upped the standards for adapting comic books to film with their equally amazing shows Daredevil and Jessica Jones. You can expect me to geek out often on comics and comic related media.

In addition to comics and comics related material, I also like geektastic stuff like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Alias, Warehouse 13, The Strain, Fringe and more.  I prefer Star Wars to Star Trek (but I like that too).

This blog is a place for me to talk about whatever I want, such as comic books, movies, and other forms of pop culture. In addition to being an atheist and social justice advocate, I’m also an African-American, cisgender, gay man. My sexuality and my ethnicity both inform a good bit of the subject matter that I write about here at the Progressive Pub (so named bc it’s a progressive environment and up until last year I was a bartender).

I don’t have an official commenting policy as yet (that will change in the future), but a few guidelines are:

  • Generally speaking, I encourage commenters to treat one another respectfully and with civility where possible, especially at first glance. Try to grant an individual the benefit of the doubt if you come across a comment that rubs you the wrong way. *However*, I do not fetish civility, and in fact, I think it is too often used as a tool of repression.
  • Along those lines, I use so-called profanity and have no problem with anyone doing the same. Note that profanity/swearing/cursing is not the same as using slurs.
  • I don’t tolerate bigotry or the use of any bigoted slurs. No racism, no anti-LGBT nonsense, no abelism. No disparaging of people because of the integral aspects of their identity. Use of such language will get you put into moderation or banned, depending on my mood.
  • In your criticism of others, please focus on ideas and not the person as much as possible.
  • I don’t mind a little thread drift, but try to stay on topic as much as possible. if you want to chat with people at length about something that is off-topic, the Speakeasy is the perfect place for that. The Speakeasy is the social thread at the Pub, where you can talk about anything under the sun, from the joys and frustrations in your life, to your favorite movies or music. There is no off-topic there.
  • Related to that, the various anti-social justice malcontents and miscreants in the online atheist community are not welcome here and that is not a violation of anyone’s free speech. I am under no obligation  to provide a platform for people to speak from and given the nature of these individuals, I refuse to allow them to use my space as they see fit.
  • First-time commenters will go into moderation until their comment is approved. After that, you’re free to comment wherever and whenever you’d like.
  • Please, no spam or attempts to sell products.

Regarding my atheistm- I do not believe in the existence of any god or gods. I believe there is insufficient evidence to justify a belief in deities. While I am a non-believer and I am openly critical of religion, I’m not going to attack people for being religious believers. Nor do I think all religious people are bad or horrible simply because they believe in a deity. I’ve encountered a great many wonderful people who believe in a god, and I’ve encountered some really awful people who do not. I won’t shy away from criticizing religious beliefs when it is appropriate, but I’m not going to launch into a tirade against someone who is a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan, Rastafarian or anything else without good reason.

I also do not believe in the soul/spirit or any sort of afterlife. I believe this life is all we have (and even if it isn’t, we have yet to prove anything else exists), so we ought to do our best to enjoy this life. I am a humanist and a freethinker. I believe that opinions and beliefs should be informed to the best of our ability by logic, evidence and science. I believe that science is the best tool we have for understanding the world around us. While it is not perfect, science is more reliable than any other tool we humans have devised. Scientific knowledge can be replicated, tested and verified. Compared to other ways of “knowing” such as faith (belief without evidence), science is a way of bringing humans as close to the truth about the world around us as we possibly can.

I don’t believe in pseudoscience, such as anti-vaccination or chemtrails. I do not believe in conspiracies or ancient aliens. It may seem like my mind is closed to possibilities, but that’s far from true.  In fact, I would love for some of the fantastic things that humans have dreamed up to be true.  But I will not believe in things for which there is little to no evidence. As with a deity, if sufficient evidence is presented to support an assertion I will reassess my beliefs. But I will not hold to an agnostic position on things lacking evidence. It is just as silly to be agnostic about god (whichever flavor you choose) as it is to be agnostic about Baldur, zombies or fairies.

If you’ve gotten this far you should have an indication of how I tend to post.  I’m not known for being concise. I can be quite verbose (not to the level of some philosophers I know, however). I hope you enjoy what I have to say and I welcome feedback, so please feel free to share your thoughts.